GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 Jan) – Classes were suspended on Thursday morning in elementary and high school levels in Surallah town in South Cotabato due to the continuous heavy rains.
Milagros Lorca, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said the municipal government of Surallah ordered the class suspension as a safety precaution for students and local residents.
She said the declaration was based on a memorandum issued by Surallah Mayor Antonio Bendita to public and private schools in the area.
“The area is presently under heavy rainfall category and we’re closely monitoring several areas there for the possible occurrence of flashfloods and landslides,” she told radio station dxKR of the Radio Mindanao Network.
Surallah is traversed by the critical Allah River, which recorded heavy flooding in some portions in the past days due to heavy rains.
Several barangays are also situated in upland areas that are considered prone to landslides and related occurrences.
Lorca said no other local government unit issued a similar declaration although the rains were monitored in almost the entire province.
She said only light to moderate rains were noted in Koronadal City and the municipalities of Tampakan, Tupi, Sto. Niño, Tantangan, Norala, T’boli, Banga, Lake Sebu and Polomolok.
The municipal government of Polomolok reported that the water level at the Silway River, which traverses this city and drains to the Sarangani Bay, remains normal.
But she said they are continually monitoring some low-lying areas for possible flooding and upland barangays for landslides.
She cited portions of Lake Sebu town, which has been experiencing sporadic rains since Wednesday afternoon.
Lorca advised residents to remain vigilant and monitor possible weather-related occurrences in their areas.
“The heavy rains in the mountainous areas could later trigger floods in the lowlands so those in the identified high risk areas should monitor and be ready should they need to evacuate,” she added. (MindaNews)